Mag Bag 2006: A Very Good Year for The Week

2006: A Very Good Year for The Week

While most newsweeklies and monthlies are struggling with the same issues that bedevil the consumer-magazine business, one upstart--The Week--is experiencing rapid growth in circulation and ad revenue.

In 2006, the mag's ad revenue jumped more than 34% to $23,882,000, according to the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB)--almost quadruple its revenue in 2003 (launch year) and over twice its 2004 revenue.

Also, the publication added advertisers across a number of categories last year, including AmeriTrade, BMW, CBS, Citgo, Clorox, Grey Goose, Hyatt and Random House.

It gets better: The Week upped its rate base 6.25% to 425,000, while competitors coasted or cut theirs. In November, Time cut its rate base by 750,000, or approximately 18%.

As the numbers indicate, The Week is a much smaller publication--but the magazine's executives embrace this fact, positioning it at as a new breed of newsweekly, targeting a more select audience of intellectuals and "opinion leaders."

Its content is also atypical: For the most part, it compiles and interprets other publications' reporting. The magazine performs the same news "aggregation" function as the Internet, probably achieving substantial cost savings on the way.

At the same time, the publication doesn't try to compete with the Internet's breaking-news capabilities. Its Friday delivery schedule positions it as a review, a print analysis of the week's events. Interestingly, in August 2006. Time switched to Friday delivery as well, and is reinventing itself as a weekly round-up of news, opinion and analysis, per the original vision of founder Henry Luce.

Magazine Is Ty Pennington's Next Project

Ty Pennington, the energetic host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," is launching a magazine with Hachette Filipacchi called Ty Pennington Style. With the same name as the home-design expert's Web site, the magazine will probably cover similar areas, including renovation, decoration ideas and labor-saving tips, all dusted with Pennington's particular aesthetic and buoyant personality. Pennington has already published a book, "Ty's Tricks," in partnership with Hyperion, and has another book published by Simon and Schuster due this year.

All Dead, All the Time: Obit Mag to Launch

The cold month of February will be warmed somewhat with inspiring tales of dead people--specifically, the obituaries of notable personages both contemporary and historical. Obit, launching Feb. 1, will perform the same morbidly fascinating review on a monthly basis, examining recent deaths and more distant ones--up to 50 years ago--through a literary, biographical and metaphysical lens.

The magazine says investigating life and death "inspires us to recognize our own potential, edging us toward transformation." But it's not stuffy or boring: A slightly cheeky section called "Still Kicking... Ass" is devoted to people who aren't dead yet. The first issue includes a section on Hunter S. Thompson's "air burial," in which the author's ashes were shot from a cannon. With a $2.50 newsstand price, a year's subscription costs $14.95.

Se7en Debuts At Sundance

A new bimonthly men's magazine, Se7en, debuts at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Devoted to the worlds of sports, gambling and "the good life," the magazine's first issue features an interview with Ray Liotta about his new movie, "Smokin' Aces," and photo spreads of the sexiest female athletes. Also inside is an interview with boxer Oscar de la Hoya and a column by Palm Restaurants' International wine and spirits expert Willy Cellucci. Of the initial run of 100,000, 85,000 are hitting the newsstands with a cover price of $5.99.

Elmer-DeWitt Joins Business 2.0 as Executive Editor

Business 2.0 magazine announced this week that Philip Elmer-DeWitt is joining the magazine as executive editor, effective Jan. 29. Previously, Elmer-Dewitt worked at Time, where he was most recently an assistant managing editor. Elmer-Dewitt joined Time in 1979, and during his tenure, authored more than 500 articles and launched the title's computer and technology sections. Business 2.0's editor Josh Quittner, remarked: "There are few journalists with as much experience covering the Internet and technology as Phil."

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